In a Wednesday morning tweet, President Trump said he had instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cut off funding for California wildfire relief unless the state improves its forest management.
“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen,” Trump tweeted. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”
Trump’s initial tweet misspelled forest as “forrest.” The president later retweeted the statement with the spelling corrected.
FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security are currently without funding as a result of the partial government shutdown.
Trump has previously criticized California’s forest management practices and threatened to withhold disaster relief funding from the state. Experts, though, have pushed back on the president for downplaying the impact of climate change, and California Democrats slammed Trump’s latest threat, questioning whether Trump would be able to pull FEMA funds.
“The federal government controls more of California’s forests than the state - and big recent wildfires there were not forest fires,” Toronto Star fact-checker Daniel Dale tweeted. “There’s a lot of legit criticism of both fed and state under-maintenance (https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article216160995.html), but experts say Trump is wildly misinformed.”